Welcome to my regular series entitled "My Light Bulb Moment". This column highlights a blinding flash of insight business, cultural and sports leaders have experienced, and how this changed their lives forever.

Hannah Shone - Founder, The Natural Parent magazine

Leaving school at 15, Hannah was lucky to have parents who were successfully self-employed, setting the backdrop to her strong desire to have her own business later in life. Gaining a degree in sociology in her early 20s, Hannah lived in the UK for a couple of years, returning to complete a postgraduate diploma in journalism at AUT.

Entering the workforce, Hannah worked for a number of years at a local newspaper, gaining strong experience in advertising sales. This in turn gave her a good feel for the different aspects involved in running a successful print publication. She founded The Natural Parent in 2010 and it now has a total distribution of 20,000 throughout Australasia.

Light Bulb Moment - attitude is key

"I would say one of the most important realisations for me was the sheer determination, energy, focus and 'stickability' that was needed to make our business a success," Hannah recalls.


"When I first started the magazine, I would become extremely downcast and worried about gaining advertising and meeting targets. Therefore, it became imperative for me to use a positive outlook, determination and drive to be successful as a means to keep going.

"Even when a major advertising contract fell through at the last minute, the key was not to let this faze me and move on to the next lead with positive energy and a good attitude."

Being positive in business and life

Hannah believes that determination and stickability are attributes that can be valuable throughout life, not just in business. "I think that if someone has a concept for a business and they feel excited and believe in it, then they should throw themselves into it, with all of their strength and determination."

Certainly in my experience having a genuine passion for a new business is a major step towards its success. Too many people enter the ranks of the self-employed with a good idea, however as they have no passion or interest in the business besides making money, when the hard times come (as they invariably will), these are the first to fall.

If you have a genuine passion for your start-up, a dogged determination to succeed and a positive (yet realistic) mindset, your road to success will be a lot more certain.

If you have had a blinding moment of insight (a light bulb moment), please email me (or share your story in the comment field below) as I would love to hear about it.

Tom O'Neil is a best-selling international author and MD of both CV.CO.NZ and TomONeil.com. Sign up to Tom's newsletter on his website or contact him at tom@tomoneil.com.